A lot goes on in laundry rooms. Folding, sorting, hanging, drying, not to mention other tasks like sewing and gift-wrapping. Some of us use these spaces as extra pantry storage, as mudrooms, as home offices, as locations for feeding pets. The list goes on and on. And a lot of what makes a pleasant experience in these spaces versus a negative one comes down to how storage and function are handled. The following laundry rooms have embraced smart solutions to both, with things like pullout drying racks and hampers, a workhorse island and dedicated pet-feeding stations.
- Double the FunctionDesigner: Libby Palmieri of House of L
Location: Port Clinton, Ohio
Size: 154 square feet (14.3 square meters); 11 by 14½ feet (3.3 by 4.4 meters)
Homeowners’ request: A generous space with double washer and dryers in a summer home for a family of six.
Special features: Two washers and two dryers. Four custom drying rack drawers. Built-in valet rods. Open shelves with laundry baskets for sorting. Large broom closet. Counter for folding.
Why the design works: “Three walls in this laundry room allow for great work flow to happen,” designer Libby Palmieri says. “From sink to washer and dryer, to the countertop, folding and storage area, anyone in the space can easily pivot and effortlessly transition from one step to the next in the laundering process.”
Designer secret: “My favorite things to add are pullout hampers,” Palmieri says. “This way, if a load or two cannot be managed all at once, clothes can be put away until the next date with the washer and dryer. In this particular laundry room, there are three pullout hampers. I feel this helps keep a laundry room uncluttered and neat.”
“Uh-oh” moment: “Originally the room had the sink placed on the right wall as you came in, as opposed to under the window,” Palmieri says. “To me, if there is a window in a laundry room, the sink naturally wants to be under it. The architect had concerns that we would lose the corners, but I was able to implement Rev-A-Shelf’s blind corner pullouts, which made those areas good storage spots.”
Cabinet and trim paint: Glacier White, Benjamin Moore; wall paint: Dolphin Fin, Behr; countertops: Fairbourne, Cambria; floor tile: Bordeaux Gris limestone, Haussmann Natural Stone; hardware: square knob in polished nickel and classic bin pull in polished nickel, Cliffside; curtain fabric: Reiman Garden in Greystone, Robert Allen
- Small and SuperDesigner: Emma Doucet of Grassroots Design+Build
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Size: 168 square feet (15.6 square meters); 4 by 12 feet (1.2 by 3.6 meters)
Homeowners’ request: A quick, smart renovation to simplify life and turn a messy, deep hallway closet into a new laundry space near a new walk-in closet. That way someone “could go from closet to laundry in two steps,” designer Emma Doucet says.
Special features: Tile backsplash that looks like wallpaper. Pullout recycling-style bins for sorting whites, colors, linens and delicates. Counter for folding. Metal shelf that can also be used for hanging clothes to dry.
Designer secret: “Every bit of space in a small home can work to make your life easier,” Doucet says. “Turning a hallway into a laundry room made [the] house work better, and increased its value because the basement is more usable.”
“Uh-oh” moment: “We had measured the space upstairs and had told the client to order a regular-sized washer and dryer,” Doucet says. “We somehow, however, were off by 2 inches to get them up the stairs. After turning the delivery guys away, we had to redesign the space to fit European-size appliances. We were very lucky the client was good-natured about it. Goes to show that no matter how many times you do this, you always have to check measurements twice.”
Cabinets and metal shelf: Ikea; countertop: The Wood Source; tile: Euro Tile; wood shelf: custom, Chris Turcotte
- Bright and OpenDesigners: Anthony Perry of A. Perry Homes (architect) and James Dolenc of jamesthomas Interiors (interior designer)
Location: Glenview, Illinois
Size: About 140 square feet (13 square meters); 10 by 14 feet (3 by 4.2 meters)
Homeowners’ request: A bright mudroom, family workshop and laundry space with room to store and clean kids’ sports gear and a place for the family dog to eat and drink.
Special features: Lots of storage. Pet-food storage and bowls. Chalkboard message center. Custom mahogany arch-top entry door with seeded glass. Terra-cotta French-country-style floor tile. Custom inset cabinetry with custom hardware. Oversized farm-style sink — “useful for cleaning, art projects, gardening and even those muddy pet feet,” architect Anthony Perry says.
Designer secret: “The primary factor behind the success of this room is the abundant natural light and the carefully controlled and directed views,” Perry says. “Such views were carefully considered both within the interior, from adjacent spaces, but also to the exterior.”
Lombardia 4 terra-cotta floor tile: Tabarka Studio; Shaws classic apron-front sink: Rohl; Artesso single-handle pull-down faucet: Brizo; entry door: Glenview Doors; countertop: Caesarstone in Pebble with honed finish
- Multiuse Marvel
Designers: J. Carson Looney of Looney Ricks Kiss (architect) and Scarlett James of The Mix Interiors and Styling (furnishings); Pam Wilder (owner and interior designer)
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Size: 187 square feet (17.3 square meters); 11 by 17 feet (3.3 by 5.1 meters)
Homeowners’ request: A “do-all” room off the path between the garage and kitchen for an empty-nester couple who had recently downsized.
Special features: Multiuse island for folding and gift-wrapping, with drawers, shelves and open space for leg and knee space or a rolling laundry cart. Utility sink. Double window. Desk-height countertop for workspace. Mail slot storage. TV. Deep sewing counter (not shown). Connection to master suite. Pet-feeding station (not shown).
Island countertop: walnut; perimeter countertops: Sea Grass limestone; paint by Sherwin-Williams: Alabaster (walls) and Frosty White (cabinets)